Dramatic details, contradictions emerge in case of 17-year-old woman's fatal shooting
Stories, versions of stories, new stories papered over old stories, things said and left unsaid, details given, details altered, details added, names, nicknames, screennames and memories now versus memories then — jurors in the trial of Daiquan Dickerson heard all of that and more as attorneys grilled the 20-year-old's co-defendant.
Dickerson is charged with first- and third-degree murder along with conspiracy to commit murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Emily Shoemaker in December 2019.
His co-defendant, Sterling Frantz, who faces the same charges, named him as the shooter while testifying in the case.
“Did you pull the trigger that killed Emily Shoemaker?” District Attorney Dave Sunday asked.
“I did not,” Frantz replied.
“Who pulled the trigger?”
“The defendant, Daiquan Dickerson.”
The statement came at the end of several hours of questioning by attorneys, sprawling over Wednesday afternoon and through Thursday morning, in which the 23-year-old Frantz gave his account of the shooting, which included admitting he gave York City police detectives three different versions of his story during the investigation.
His testimony peeled back layers of the complicated relationship of a reported marijuana dealer rooming with his supplier, the structure and dangers of that life, the sale-turned-robbery that ultimately led to Dickerson and Frantz in a car chasing down Shoemaker’s car, the gunfire that killed her outside William Penn Senior High School, and the aftermath.
“I don’t even know how to describe it. The first thing that went through my mind was ‘holy [expletive],’” Frantz said, as he spoke about his reaction shortly after the shooting.
The day of the incident, he told Sunday, he set up a deal through Snapchat to sell Shoemaker a half-ounce of pot worth about $100 to $120. Against his usual practice of meeting elsewhere, Frantz had her drive to the apartment along North Newberry Street that he and his girlfriend, Trinity Rebman, shared with Dickerson and his girlfriend, Caylah Webb.
With weed Dickerson had already fronted him to sell, Frantz said, he met Shoemaker in her car, which he described as green and cube-shaped, in the back of his apartment building. As the deal started to go down, he said, a kid nicknamed “Fermo” — identified in court as Fuhrman Dennis — popped up from the back seat, grabbed Frantz by the neck and threatened to shoot him. Frantz said he assumed the attacker was Dennis based on his reputation as “bad money” — meaning, according to Frantz, an unsafe client.
During the robbery, another kid, also identified in court as Tyrese Dugan, came from the side of the apartment building and grabbed Franz's feet, he testified.
“I was held by a chokehold, and there was another male that came from the side of the apartment building and held my feet,” he said.
Weed gone, money gone, his glasses lost and with Shoemaker fleeing with the boys, Frantz went back into the apartment a little shocked, he said. He also noted Dickerson was out the $100 owed to him while he was out the $20 he expected to make in profit.
He then described how he tried to talk to Dickerson about the robbery at his room, but Dickerson shooed him away, and Frantz then went to reassure his girlfriend and play some video games.
About a half-hour later, Frantz said, Dickerson came out and asked if he wanted to go for a ride and smoke a blunt. They rode around in Dickerson’s girlfriend’s car, generally east, he said, while Dickerson made comments about how he was tired of losing money. Frantz described him as aggravated.
“The things that were being said and the tone of voice that was coming from Daiquan,” he testified. "I don’t wanna say it was hostile, but it was aggravated. He was pissed off."
Eventually, Frantz said, they passed Shoemaker’s Kia Soul coming from the other direction around College Avenue. Dickerson asked if that was the car, and Frantz said he wasn’t sure since he wasn’t wearing his glasses. But he also said he wouldn’t identify it even if he could see it, claiming he feared Dickerson would escalate into some kind of confrontation, from an argument to a shooting.
“Something that I wanted nothing to do with was about to happen,” he said.
Dickerson turned around and started following Shoemaker’s car, Frantz testified. They crossed into the opposite lane right before the intersection of College Avenue and Beaver Street, he said. Dickerson used the driver’s side door panel to lower the passenger window, pulled a handgun from a hoodie pocket with his right hand while holding the steering wheel with his left, and with the gun across Frantz’s face, started shooting at the Kia with the semi-automatic, firing multiple times rapidly, Frantz said. At the same time, he reclined his seat back so he wouldn’t get hit.
Franz said he never turned and looked out his window, but he heard screams, “a very loud, high-pitched feminine scream,” he said.
Dickerson’s car turned off on Pershing Avenue, according to testimony. Shoemaker kept driving on College until eventually crashing into a tree near Cookes House Lane. She died a short time later at a local hospital, while Dennis and Dugan were injured.
After the shooting, Frantz said, Dickerson picked up another kid, identified as “Young Bull,” and had him clean out the car, including shell casings, back at the apartment. Dickerson also insisted Frantz get rid of the clothes he was wearing, fearing he was covered in gunpowder residue. Frantz said he resisted and put some of his clothes with his laundry.
Dickerson went to take a shower with Webb, while Frantz said he worked to calm Rebman. He said he also resisted her insistence to come forward about the shooting because he was afraid of retaliation.
Frantz also testified that back at the apartment, Dickerson bragged that he shot Shoemaker 10 times.
Dickerson’s attorney, Farley Holt, questioned that along with many other points in Frantz’s testimony as he compared statements Frantz made this week to statements he gave detectives during the investigation’s early days.
Holt showed Frantz a transcript from a police interview in January 2020 where he quoted Dickerson as questioning how many times he fired.
“I don’t know how many times I shot. I normally shoot nine or 10. I wonder what I shot,” Frantz read from the transcript.
Holt questioned whether Dickerson bragged in one breath and questioned in the other, and Frantz said he did.
Going back over the events leading up to the shooting, Frantz told Holt the pot deal went down on the street in front of the apartment. He also said he described Shoemaker’s car to Dickerson right after the robbery, which Holt indicated was a contradiction to his earlier testimony.
Frantz also indicated he told Dickerson that he assumed “Fermo” robbed him. Holt wondered why he didn’t say anything about Shoemaker since he dealt with her directly, and Frantz said she wasn’t the one who physically robbed him.
“You don’t tell my client that?” Holt asked.
“That is correct, I did not," Frantz responded.
Later, while asking about the post-robbery car ride, Holt asked Frantz how they happened to randomly drive up on Shoemaker’s car about an hour after the robbery, which Frantz said they did. Holt also asked why Frantz refused to confirm to Dickerson that the Kia was the car instead of just lying to avoid a confrontation.
“Would it have been a lot easier for you to say to him, ‘Nah, it’s not them,’ if you wanted to avoid the situation?” Holt asked.
“It could’ve been said,” Frantz replied.
“That could’ve put an end to it, right?”
Frantz insisted Shoemaker ran a red light at College and Beaver, and that the shooting went down at the intersection and not a short distance past. His testimony contradicted previous testimony and evidence that Shoemaker had the green light, and the gunfire erupted after the intersection, right in front of the high school.
Throughout the testimony, Holt also questioned why Frantz deleted his Snapchat account, which he used to conduct pot deals, then reactivated it and then created a second one during the investigation. And he asked about the pot dealer/supplier setup, and whether Dickerson was really the one out money owed after the robbery, or if Frantz was actually the one in the hole.
Questioning from both sides also focused on two handguns Frantz had purchased a few weeks before the shooting and how they were stolen from a safe during an apparent burglary shortly afterward. That led to Sunday producing transcripts of texts between Frantz and another friend, in which Frantz questioned whether Dickerson took the guns and set the incident up to look like a theft.
Though Frantz is charged with the same counts as Dickerson, his case has not progressed since March 2020. He said in court he hopes to receive some kind of consideration for his testimony but that he hasn’t been promised anything.
“Honestly? All I can hope is that there is some type of deal afterwards,” Frantz said. “But whatever happens, happens.”
Webb, 23, is also charged in the case with counts of hindering prosecution, obstruction of law enforcement and tampering with evidence. She allegedly discarded clothes Dickerson and Frantz wore the night of the shooting.
— Aimee Ambrose can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.